The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday evening that the Brooklyn Nets have traded center Brook Lopez and the 27th-overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Los Angeles Lakers for point guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov.
Lopez spent nine seasons with the Nets and his name is commonplace on the franchise’s all-time leaders list. He leads the Nets in field goals made, points, blocks and offensive wins shares. He ranks second only behind Buck Williams in games and minutes played.
Averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 boards per game throughout a career that was sidetracked at times by injuries, Lopez is a versatile big man that score from almost anywhere on the floor while providing a defensive foundation near the basket.
At just 29 years old, there is still plenty left in the tank for the player Brooklyn drafted 10th overall in 2008 when the franchise was still in New Jersey.
The Nets have gotten a guard for the future in Russell, who has been developing into a solid floor general during his first two NBA seasons. Last year saw him put up 15.6 points and 4.8 assists per game, both career bests.
However, locker room troubles and the team’s impending selection of Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick in the draft has made Russell expendable.
It is surprising that he has been shipped for Lopez though considering the Lakers are attempting to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. The Nets also have Jeremy Lin locked up through the 2018-19 season, which means there will be plenty of competition at the position unless the veteran is moved to the 2.
Coming over with Russell, Mozgov ensures that the Nets maintain some size with Lopez gone. At 7-foot-1, 275 pounds, Mozgov is immovable at times down low. But his NBA development has been slow, keeping him from accruing regular playing time.